Have you put off a summer trip because you’re worried about your small business running without you while you’re taking a well-deserved break?
You have one last chance to squeeze in a vacation before the busy fall season begins, and I can take one concern off of your list: keeping your social media running while you’re away from your business.
It’s easier than you think. I run the social media networks for Constant Contact, and I have a system in place that you can use for whatever business you have.
A content plan will help take the guesswork out of what to post for your social networks on vacation and all year round.
Take stock of the social networks you use and think about the purpose of each one. What do you want to accomplish with each of the networks? You might decide that Facebook is a place to share news, blog posts, events, and promotions. Twitter could be where you handle customer service and share industry tips. Instagram could serve as a way to show the faces and behind-the-scenes of your business.
Think about themes for certain days of the week for your networks. You could post a Monday Motivation quote on Mondays, share a tip on Tuesdays, or post some photos from back in the day on Throwback Thursday.
Having set themes for certain days will make it easy for you to decide what content to share. For example, our Instagram schedule includes a Monday Motivation quote every Monday, an Instagram tip on Tuesdays, and behind-the-scenes photos Wednesdays through Fridays:
Creating a stockpile of evergreen content can save you tons of time when you’re looking for things to post while you’re away.
Evergreen content is content that’s timeless and current – it doesn’t have an expiration date and can be shared all year round. Types of evergreen content include information from frequently asked questions on your website, your most popular blog posts, videos about your business, infographics, best practices or tips, guides, Slideshares, and calls to action to join your email list or subscribe to your blog.
Our “How to Make a Great Looking Email” checklist infographic is a great example of evergreen content because the best practices in this post aren’t likely to change anytime soon.
Write some tweets and Facebook posts using your evergreen content and save them in a Word document or Excel spreadsheet so you can easily copy and paste them when you’re scheduling posts in advance.
Every piece of content you share on your social networks doesn’t have to be original. You should be sharing curated content – valuable content from industry news websites, influencers, notable blogs, customers, or employees. Sharing content from other sources shows that you are on top of the latest news and trends, and that makes you a source that your customers turn to when they need information.
Make content curation easy on yourself by using a tool like Feedly to follow and discover blogs and industry news sites. Follow these sources on Facebook and Twitter. When you’re scrolling through your Facebook news feed and see something they’ve posted that you’d like to share, use Facebook’s saving features to bookmark the links for later. Use Twitter’s list feature to create a feed of your trusted sources or the saved searches feature for industry keywords, and scan these feeds daily to find curated content for your business.
The next step is deciding which days of the week and what times of the day are the best times to reach your audience by evaluating the content you’ve already been sharing. Then create a posting calendar for each network for each day of the week. If you’re using Agorapulse, you can create a schedule queue for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Now that you know what days and times to post and what content you’re sharing to each network, all you have to do is fill in the blanks for the social networks you post to at the times and days that work best for each network. Schedule ahead of time for the days you’re on vacation and your social media will keep going while you’re away.
Train someone at your business to be your backup while you’re out. They should have access to your business’ social networks to help with customer service needs or to respond as your business in case of something urgent. Share your content plan and posting calendar with your backup so they know how to be the voice of your business on each network.
You can give your backup limited admin rights so they don’t accidentally delete your Facebook page. Agorapulse has workflows and admin rights that you can assign for your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Facebook also has native admin roles that you can assign to allow different levels of posting, responding to comments, and overall page management.
If you absolutely must check in on your social networks while you’re relaxing (I’m guilty of this!), make sure you have all of their apps downloaded on your phone. You can avoid getting distracted by your news feeds by letting the apps tell you what’s urgent. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to turn on notifications for comments and mentions. You can easily manage the activity through the social network apps as well as Agorapulse’s mobile app.
Do you have any tips for setting up your social media marketing to run while you’re on vacation? Let us know in the comments!